Friday, November 15, 2013

the seed of its own healing

This post has been languishing in my "drafts" folder for almost a year. I don't remember why I didn't post it, but I'm sure I meant to, because NEW FINISHED PAINTINGS, holy shit. I also don't know why I feel compelled to do things in chronological fashion -- vestiges from the perfectionism that is as stubborn as it is perfect? -- but all the sudden I can't go forward without catching up.

Last winter, in Providence, I had about10 different canvases going at once, all in this diluted wash-y experiment:

"The Seed of its Own Healing"
16 x 20, oil and mixed media on canvas

I was just dousing the surfaces with layers and layers of paint, seeing what would happen to the composition with every subsequent application, and more than a little inspired by my friend Kozuki Watanabe (whose work not only vibrates with color intensity and off-kilter compositions, but also bears the most poetically potent titles I've ever seen).

I loved discovering the interaction between the layers, seeing how far I could push the paint.

 "A Human Instrument"
16 x 20, oil and mixed media on canvas

I had tacked up a quote from Francis Bacon about "preserving the accident" in a painting, something I'd been mulling over for years but hadn't been able to actually do in practice. These pieces felt like such a relief to me for that reason -- they were a complete departure from my heavy-handed and overworked markings of the past.
And also I did not know how much I loved chartreuse.

The hands I drew years and years ago -- I found them stashed with some other collage material, and thought the spidery lines of India Ink fit nicely with the contrasting fields of color. I pasted them on with an oil gel medium, and the ink stayed true while the paper went beautifully translucent.

I marvel at the way hands are so immediately, humanly, expressive. Their language is intuitive, inherent, elegant.


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